I Don’t Want To Do This (I Don’t Want To Be Brave Any More)

Four days ago, I turned 26. Three days before that, I poured chemicals onto my upper thigh and left them there until they burnt a hand-sized hole in my leg.

Two days ago, I found out that I have to have surgery to fix it. Again.

I don’t even know what to say. Two days from now I’m going to be flat on my back on an operating table, and I don’t even really know how this happened.

It’s hard to work out how I feel about it. Sad, I think. And really, really angry.

My brother’s 30th birthday party is tonight, and I’m sitting on the plane, about to fly home to make small talk with near-strangers at a bar. I’m staying with my parents, so I’ll have to sneak garbage bags into the bathroom to cover my dressings while I shower, and do my best to walk without a limp.

When I saw Nikki yesterday, I told her I was having surgery on Monday, and she diverted into a conversation about my parents. I felt like she wasn’t hearing me at all. As I was leaving, she told me to have a lovely weekend, and I was so angry I went home and cried. Is she really so clueless? Am I so bad at communicating she thinks this is no big deal?

The part I’m dreading the most is waking up alone. In agony, without my phone or laptop or a book or anything to distract me, and having to sit and stare at the wall for hours.

I don’t want to be alone.

I Don’t Want To Do This (I Don’t Want To Be Brave Any More)

10 thoughts on “I Don’t Want To Do This (I Don’t Want To Be Brave Any More)

  1. I am sorry. I wish there was something I could do. Being brave sucks. I am sorry you are in so much pain (physically as well as everything else). Anger is appropriate. I have a book I would give you, or maybe a book on tape would be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This.shaking says:

    Dear Rea: I join Emily and PD in wanting to be with you in all this pain. I know each of them knows a lot about pain. You do NOT have to make “small talk” here. I am sorry you have to burn yourself. I am sorry you have to hide all this from everyone. I am sorry Nikki didn’t get it. I am sorry you have to stare at a blank wall. Some of your Bloggy friends are behind that wall. Holding your hand in my thoughts. TS

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sorry you’re so scared of being alone after surgery and I’m sorry Nikki didn’t spend the time you wanted/needed on your leg and surgery – perhaps she didn’t want to dwell on self harm, or perhaps she’s just human and misjudged you. Either way, attunement is such an important part of attachment and it hurts when people miss the mark. Sending you lots of good vibes xx


  4. Oh Rea, my heart hurts right now. I feel so much care for how alone you are, that Nikki abandoned you when you really needed someone to get it, and that you are going to be with family and can’t tell them about your injury, and not having someone at your side when you wake up from surgery. It brings tears to my eyes, thinking about the aloneness. I know how painful it feels to be alone, when you are hurting and really don’t want to be alone.
    Not to mention the hurt that is always there, represented in the injury on your leg now. For what it is worth, your plight touches me very deeply. And you come to mind often.
    And happy birthday.


  5. Rea, dear one, I’m sorry you feel so alone! I wish I could be next to you. I’d sit beside you and talk with you, or just be quiet if that’s what you wanted. I would brush you hair or hold your hand or not touch you at all–whatever felt good to you in the moment.

    I’ve often felt hurt that E didn’t seem to see how bad things were. But I’ve learned (and she’s learning) that it’s hard for me to show it, so we try to find ways that I can communicate it better. Often it’s through my personal depression chart I made, or sometimes via a blog post. Is there anything you can share with Nikki to give her some extra insight? It seems like she and E might be looking for things that are super obvious, but we don’t necessarily show our needs so obviously.

    Surgery is a big deal. Do you have any friend, anyone, you could ask to come and be with you afterwards? Maybe someone you don’t even tell the backstory to? You could say, “it’s a long story I don’t really feel like getting into, but I have to have surgery for this, do you think you could come and visit me afterwards?” Honestly, I’d come if I could. Like Rachel, I think of you often, and I’m very concerned.

    Sending you lots of loving, healing thoughts, Q.


    1. I read this on the train to the hospital, and I was so engrossed I almost missed my stop. I wish you could come and hold my hand, but this is the next best thing.

      I feel like surgery for self harm should be a pretty clear sign that things are bad. It is hard to be clearer with Nikki because if she still doesn’t get it I feel like I literally won’t survive it. That’s silly, and I know I will, I just don’t FEEL like I will. Is the alternative, of having nobody to talk to, really better? Probably not, but it’s safer and more comfortable. Definitely more familiar.

      I learnt from my experience last time that they will not let you leave the hospital unless you have someone to pick you up, so I’ve told a friend from work that I’m having surgery. None of the details, and she’s just going to come to the hospital and accompany me home, but there is some comfort just in the fact that there’s somebody in the world who knows.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m frustrated that it was delayed, and vacillating between wanting to do it and get it over with and wanting to cancel it altogether. But I’m doing okay. Thank you for thinking of me.


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